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The Week in Internet News: Executive Order Targets Social Media

Trump vs. Twitter: U.S. President Donald Trump, one of Twitter’s most prolific users, has signed an executive order directing government agencies to target social media sites after Twitter fact-checked one of his tweets about voting by mail. The executive order argues social media platforms should lose their lawsuit protections for content posted by users, by directing the Federal Communications Commission to begin a rule-making proceeding to determine when those protections should be stripped away, NPR reports.

Internet freedom? Meanwhile, Business Insider notes that Trump said he’d shut down Twitter if he could, even as he tried to emphasize his “commitment to free and open debate on the Internet.” Trump, with more than 80 million followers on Twitter, complained about social media platforms stifling conservative voices.

Robots vs. COVID-19: A shopping center in Thailand is deploying artificial intelligence-powered robots to fight COVID-19, Euronews.com reports. The mall has thermal scanners to check shoppers’ temperatures, and robots carry public health messages and hand sanitizer.

AI on the beach: In Israel, startup Sightbit is using AI and video cameras to help lifeguards on busy beaches, NoCamels reports. The company is running a pilot program at one of Israel’s most popular beaches. The technology provides real-time alerts on water hazards and warnings to swimmers and also provides crowd management solutions, updates on weather conditions, and offers estimates on how many lifeguards are needed.

No more backdoor: Sony has disabled a Playstation 4 backdoor that allowed Chinese gamers to bypass China’s content controls to log onto foreign servers and download games from overseas versions of the PlayStation Store, the South China Morning Post reports. Although there are more than 4,000 PlayStation 4 games available worldwide, less than 200 are available in China.

Section 230 has a track record of promoting innovation and creativity online. By separating it from partisan politics, we can keep it that way.